Is God Tolerant?
God loves us and the rest of the world so much that He gave "He gave His only Son" to the world. Jesus encourages us to "love your enemies". God and Jesus seem tolerant of others as Jesus is kind to sinners and people who are not of God. As people treat God like a fantasy Santa Clause they forget Jesus also told a sinner He treated nice, "go and sin no more". As people encourage loving others, which is a good virtue they ignore that Jesus teaches, "be afraid of God, who can destroy both body and soul in hell". It is not an act of love to lead people to believe they are okay with God falsely. As people are confused about tolerance and permissiveness they often will decide that our sometimes-judgmental God described in the Old Testament is different than the Father of Jesus or that God changed even though God clearly said, "I Yahveh do not change". Not only do they ignore Jesus' advice to fear God they often overlook the story in the book of Acts where Peter said to Ananias "you have lied to God!" and immediately Ananias fell down dead. Apparently God in the New Testament is not tolerant toward some people who lie to Him. God did not change. Jesus mentions all the mistreatments and murders of men of God from the beginning until now and then states "the punishment for all these murders will fall on the people of this day!" Apparently the destruction of the Second Temple and the subsequent exile for 1878 years was not just for having God's son executed but also for all past mistreatment of God's people. Just because God is merciful and sometimes tolerant of our sins, we should not consider that an invitation to sin or embrace things not of God. 1
Jesus is very clear we should not "judge" others. Not judging may reflect some tolerance but does not mean we should embrace or encourage sinning or false teachings. Some Christians claim to encourage diversity and tolerance by encouraging others to be acquainted with false religions (false is anything other than Christianity and Judaism). God not only prohibits praying to other gods He clearly states, "do not even mention their names". That does not sound very tolerant. Be aware that some of the words used in the Mohammadanist religion are words that use the name of their god.
Even if it appears that God's people are doing something that is offensive to God or are fitting into God's plans for correction, only God should make the judgment call to punish or correct them. Remember how the Egyptians made slaves out of the children of Israel, which fulfilled a prophecy God had made to Abraham. However God wiped out Pharaoh's entire army apparently in response to their conduct. Or how God used the Babylonians to destroy the First Temple and place His children in 70 years of exile and then greatly punished the Babylonians. God does not like people to mistreat His people. 2
At times God will be tolerant of our sinning allowing us time to change. This is not tolerance that indicates His approval or that He has changed the rules. Remember Jesus said, "until earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law ". Just because we are required not to "judge", we are not required to lead people to believe their sinful behavior is acceptable to God. 3
1. Jn 3:16; Mt 5:44 (GN); Jn 8:11 (NKJ); Mt 10:28 (GN); Mal 3:6 (ET); Ac 5:4; Mt 23:36 (GN)
2. Mt 7:1; Ex 23:13 (GN);Ge 15:13-14; Ex 14:26-28; Jer 25:12-14; 50:28
3. Mt 5:18 (NI)
note: click here for bible verse and translation abbreviations
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A Psalm for reflection "I know you get no pleasure from wickedness and cannot tolerate the slightest sin." Ps 5:4 (TL)
Understanding the Teaching: What I share in the teaching is what I believe God wants me to share. All the direct quotes from God are highlighted in royal purple. Of course the words of Jesus are in red. Rather than follow some made up doctrine, remember that Jesus said that every thing He said (Jn 12:49) and everything He did (Jn 14:31) comes from God. All teachings and all opinions should be supported by what we learn from God or Jesus (see the scripture referred to in the footnote).
MARRIAGE WORKSHOP MOMENT
There is a decrease in sensuality after marriage. Sensuality is like touching, hugging, snuggling, holding hands, light kissing, etc.. Sensuality can be some of what happens on your weekly date night. If you take a walk, hold hands. Encourage habits like hugging and kissing when leaving and coming home.
A kids idea when it is okay to kiss:
Pam age 7 "When they are rich"
Curt age 7 "The law says 18, so I would want to mess with that."
If you are watching TV together, a little cuddling is good. Communicate your desires and check what your partner likes. People change. Some people know how to please their pets better than they do their spouse, try asking. Protect your sensual time together by having a weekly couples meeting.
The Better Half "When your partner won't support your efforts to make your marriage better" Without your spouse's support to improve your marriage, you can still pray daily for God's will to be done in each of your lives and your marriage ("all things are possible with God", Mk 10:27 NI). If you take a walk, hold hands. Encourage habits like hugging and kissing when leaving and coming home. If you are watching TV together, a little cuddling is good. Communicate your desires and check what your partner likes. People change. Some people know how to please their pets better than they do their spouse, try asking. Even the most selfish, self-center spouse will respond to what they like. Remember Jesus said, "Treat others the same way you want them to treat you." (Lk 6:31 NAS)
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